Cuban Sandwich

Hey hey! I’m writing this from the dining room table where the windows are open and the breeze is blowing through the house. So nice. Spring has definitely been beautiful here in Kansas City. It’s not hot and humid enough to be miserable (I’m referring to you, summer). It’s just sunny enough, just warm enough, and I’m not dripping sweat the moment I step out the door. Love it!

Thanks to the weather, I’ve been able to get back into a running routine, which has been awesome. I love running for many reasons, one of them being the incredible mood boosting endorphins I get from a runner’s high. Thank you, biology.

Something else that has been fun is my father in law, Charlie, is visiting. We’ve been showing him around the city and taking him on little adventures. We took him to Kauffman Stadium for a Royals game the other day. It was a beautiful day for a baseball game!

Royals
It was also the perfect opportunity to make Cuban sandwiches for our pre-game. While Kevin was at summer school one day last week, I showed Charlie one of my favorite movies, Chef. In it they make Cubans out of a food truck. Have you ever had one? They’re so good. It’s also a really good movie. If you haven’t watched it, I totally recommend it.

Chef

I also remember watching Bobby Flay make Cubans on the Food Network about 10 years ago. I was with my mom and literally minutes after the show ended we hopped in the car, bought everything we needed, and made Cubans for dinner. So fun! 

It was fun to do that again, but this time for Kevin and Charlie! They were SO good, and pretty darn easy, so here’s the recipe (if you can call it that). Go make them this weekend! You won’t be disappointed. If you don’t know what it is- it’s just a really good sandwich that comes loaded with pork, pickles and mustard. Oh, and cheese. Duh.

Kevin
First, you’ll need some butter, dijon mustard, pickles, deli ham, hoagie rolls, and provolone cheese. I like this ham because it’s nitrate free and these hoagies were BOMB.

Then, you’ll need some pork. I used my slow cooker…because why would I slave over the oven when the crockpot can do all the work for me!? I marinated a pork sirloin overnight. I usually make my pork out of shoulder or butt, but the sirloin was much cheaper (hey, teacher salary). Here is a recipe that you could try. I usually use the one from Juli Bauer’s Paleo Cookbook. Or I just throw whatever I can together and make it taste good.

Once the pork is done, its’ mostly just assembly. Slice the hoagies in half horizontally, slather dijon mustard on both sides and then start piling things together in this order deli ham, pork, pickles, and provolone cheese. Once the goods are piled up, put the other half of the hoagie on top and give it a little smoosh.

If you have a panini grill, lather both sides of the sandwich with butter and grill until the cheese is melted and the bread is golden brown. If you don’t have a panini grill, that’s okay (I don’t either). Instead, I put butter in the skillet and then the sandwich. I used a basting brush to brush melted butter on top, too. Then, I do the work of the panini maker by smooshing the sandwich down with something heavy (like a cast iron skillet) or just with your spatula. I went a little rogue here and added some garlic powder, onion powder and salt onto the top of the sandwich (just a little for flavor, don’t overdo it). Do NOT get stingy with the butter, though. Like, seriously. Nobody has to know how much butter goes onto this thing.

Flip it a couple of times to make sure the cheese melts without burning the bread. Adjust the heat accordingly. Eat right away or pack for a picnic! When these puppies were done, I wrapped them in foil individually and packed them up for our baseball game. They held together well and were a hit. The boys ate them again the next night for dinner!

Enjoy!

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